NCAA extends recruiting restrictions because of COVID-19; Lindenwood “Mega Camp” in doubt

Sports

ST. LOUIS – The NCAA announced an extension Wednesday of a ban on in-person recruiting through the end of July, continuing rules that have been in place since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania and chair of the Division I Council Coordination Committee.

The so-called “dead period” means college coaches cannot host prospective student-athletes in person on campus or attend attend off-campus camps, clinics or competitions where prospective student-athletes would be present.

The decision calls into question the fate of a high school football “Mega Camp” slated for late July at Lindenwood University, which was supposed to draw coaches from dozens of programs from around the country, including Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Arizona, and beyond.

Players from across the midwest have attended similar camps in the past to get evaluated, and in some cases, receive scholarship offers on the spot. The event was originally scheduled for next week and was moved to July 24-25 because of a previous ban on in-person recruiting. Players who registered for the event would get a refund if it ends up getting canceled.

In college basketball recruiting specifically, the AAU circuit has become in some respects, more important than a student-athlete’s school season when it comes to college coaches scouting players in person.

The culmination of the AAU calendar is the annual Peach Jam, which brings together the best talent from around the country in Augusta, Georgia. It’s a venue where former Chaminade standout Jayson Tatum excelled; he committed to Duke at the event in 2015.

The NCAA statement Wednesday left open the possibility that restrictions could be re-evaluated in late June or early July but it’s unclear if there will be enough time in the calendar to reschedule events.

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